2018. május 17., csütörtök

One must live very simply

The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one's existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor-these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.

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As far as simplicity is concerned, not only should a particular order of life follow this principle, but every member, be he in the brahmacarya-asrama, or -grastha-asrama  or vānaprastha-asrama. One must live very simply.

AHIMSA means not arresting the progressive life of any living entity. One should not think that since the spirit spark is never killed even after the killing of the body there is no harm in killing animals for sense gratification. People are now addicted to eating animals, in spite of having an ample supply of grains, fruits and milk. There is no necessity for animal killing. This injunction is for everyone. When there is no other alternative, one may kill an animal, but it should be offered in sacrifice. At any rate, when there is an ample food supply for humanity, persons who are desiring to make advancement in spiritual realization should not commit violence to animals. Real ahiṁsā means not checking anyone's progressive life. The animals are also making progress in their evolutionary life by transmigrating from one category of animal life to another. If a particular animal is killed, then his progress is checked. If an animal is staying in a particular body for so many days or so many years and is untimely killed, then he has to come back again in that form of life to complete the remaining days in order to be promoted to another species of life. So their progress should not be checked simply to satisfy one's palate. This is called ahiṁsā.

SATYAM This word means that one should not distort the truth for some personal interest. In Vedic literature there are some difficult passages, but the meaning or the purpose should be learned from a bona fide spiritual master. That is the process for understanding Vedas. Śruti means that one should hear from the authority. One should not construe some interpretation for his personal interest. There are so many commentaries on Bhagavad-gītā that misinterpret the original text. The real import of the word should be presented, and that should be learned from a bona fide spiritual master.

AKRODHAH means to check anger. Even if there is provocation one should be tolerant, for once one becomes angry his whole body becomes polluted. Anger is the product of the modes of passion and lust, so one who is transcendentally situated should check himself from anger. 

APAISUNAM means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life. 

HRIH means that one should be very modest and must not perform some act which is abominable.

ACAPALAM, determination, means that one should not be agitated or frustrated in some attempt. There may be failure in some attempt, but one should not be sorry for that; he should make progress with patience and determination.

The word TEJAH used here is meant for the kṣatriyas. The kṣatriyas should always be very strong to be able to give protection to the weak. They should not pose themselves as nonviolent. If violence is required, they must exhibit it.

SAUCAM means cleanliness, not only in mind and body but in one's dealings also. It is especially meant for the mercantile people, who should not deal in the black market. 

NATIMANITA not expecting honor, applies to the śūdras, the worker class, which are considered, according to Vedic injunctions, to be the lowest of the four classes. They should not be puffed up with unnecessary prestige or honor and should remain in their own status. It is the duty of the śūdras to offer respect to the higher class for the upkeep of the social order.


(Srila Prabhupada: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 16.1-3 , original edition Macmillan 1972)

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